Stress is a process, not an object…

As long as we see stress as an object, it will remain either a weight ‘out there,’ or a lump ‘in here’ (or likely both!). I am not denying the presence of significant stressors in our experience of life; nor our habits by which we embed this stress in our bodies, in our relationships and in our places. Manifestion of stress is not a process we choose willingly; but it can be an opportunity to see how we are responding to life.

When we connect with the ground of our being, and feel its slow movements deep within; when we awaken ourselves to this moment and feel it wash over us; when we breathe, because breathing is at the core of all our needs and the surest expression of our desires…

we may loosen our desperate grip, the grip which is itself the nature of the stress that cripples us… and we may fall into a place of potent vulnerability which does not expose or waste itself but integrates and consummates our experience of life and our energies for renewal. Settling into trust

(Simon Williams, 27.7.12)

. . .

‘Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath.’
(Natalie Goldberg)

‘It seems to me that fear is more basic than the emotions. It comes from our basic confusion. Fear touches on the most basic aspect of the human dilemma: “How do we live in an uncertain world?”  We understand this when we sit to practice. We don’t really know what to do with our experience. We either get lost in our thoughts or try to suppress them. Somehow, we can’t find our resting place with the energy and expression of our mind. It can feel overwhelming – scary. … So we can say that, due to our inability to relax around experience, we contract in fear or get lost in our confusion. It says in the teachings that this “overwhelm” causes us to cling tightly. This experience of clinging tightly is what we misunderstand as the self. We continue to look for stability and security, and yet the world (our inner and outer worlds) is not a static situation. What we experience as a self, we could say, is a continued desire for happiness and freedom from suffering. The problem we have is that there is so much bewilderment around our experience and not knowing what to do with it, we contract out of fear…..There is panic, which is a frozen,  very physical,  sensation. Our breath gets shallow. We feel like life is something happening to us, rather than feeling a part of the bigness of life.’
(Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel, Moving Beyond Fear – see fuller quote at

This entry was posted by Simon Williams.

5 thoughts on “Stress is a process, not an object…

  1. oh my gosh…spot on. I’ve spent several years learning about stress. Figuring out what I need to do. I have spent 2 years concentrating on what produces stress within and outside. I’ve felt the totally out of control, anxiety, fear, unknown because I KNEW how to work with stress before 2 years ago when what I knew didn’t work for me anymore. With extensive psychotherapy, then learning about mindfulness, meditation and putting it into practice to the proper nutritional supplementation for MY body, and listening to my body and God’s voice within, I am able to (mostly) understand and work with the stress again. Have it work for me and not against me. OH how I fought for the equilibrium not knowing the stress I was creating myself. Letting go is the key…

    I reread the quotes on the right side of your page. Awesome. Thank you for your blog. I get so much out of what you write and especially your poetry.

    • Thank you Shelly, I am very grateful for your following and your comments, meaningful and loving. I began this blog with the intention of only sharing with certain friends and family and keeping it private but it is wonderful developing further connections through blogging community.

    • Writing down the bones?

      I get stress caused by tension that comes from not wanting to face things that need to be changed. The stress is a fear of change, letting go, sadness of loss, amongst other things. Change can be really difficult, I hold on so I don’t have to change things. But then there are so many lateral transformations that a creative intelligent person can make. Change can be deeply exciting and fun!

      • ‘Writing Down the Bones’ indeed! I just copied the quote from somewhere else but now I look at info for the book it sounds like where I am at! Thanks Gareth 🙂 I wonder if that is the same one my mum is reading…

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